Letter of Solidarity for Polish Women

4 September, 2015

 

RHM endorsed a letter calling MPs, the Speaker and the Prime Minister of Poland to vote against the citizen’s bill amending the Act on Family Planning, Protection of the Human Fetus and Conditions of Pregnancy Termination and related Acts, submitted by the Committee “Stop Abortion” that would make abortion illegal in all cases. The letter was submitted by The Federation for Women and Family Planning along with several other organizations and individuals.

“We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, urge you to vote against the citizen’s bill amending the Act on Family Planning, Protection of the Human Fetus and Conditions of Pregnancy Termination and related Acts, submitted by the Committee “Stop Abortion”.

Should the Act on Family Planning be changed, abortion would become illegal in all cases, which would in turn result in the violation of women’s human rights. Couples who find out that their child would be born with a severe illness or genetic defect, resulting in enormous pain and suffering, would have to continue the pregnancy. Even if it became clear during prenatal screening that a child would die immediately after birth or after a few painful months due to a fatal illness, a woman would not have the right to terminate such a pregnancy. Those who are pushing for that bill remain silent on physical and emotional suffering of such children and their parents.

 It sounds like a bad joke that the Committee claims that the amended Act would “make social relations more human”, considering that the new law would force even very young girls to give birth to children conceived as a result of rape or incest, risking their own lives and health and facing emotional trauma connected with such an experience.

The bill and related amendments to the Criminal Code, which supposedly provide for the possibility of saving a pregnant woman’s life and health in rare cases, should not be understood as a possibility of obtaining an abortion in such instances. In reality, doctors may be too afraid of criminal sanctions and prison sentences and refuse to perform life-saving abortions, which would lead to a new wave of cases similar to that of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland.

It is a known fact that restrictive regulations do not eliminate abortions but push them deep underground. In countries where abortion is banned, women die as a result of illegal procedures or suffer due to medical complications. Every year almost 50,000 women worldwide die as a result of abortions performed in unsafe conditions. The suffering extends to their living children and families. The society pays a high price for the hypocrisy of the so-called “defenders of life” who want to sentence women to death in the name of their ideology and refuse to see women as human beings.”

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